A lot has changed in the world over the past year.
And let’s be clear, the rate of change is faster than it has ever been before.
And the rate of change in the Church may be even more rapid.
Every church has had to pivot over the last year to stay relevant.
Our message must never change, but flexibility in our methods is vital.
To that end, we came up with five church trends you need to know for 2022.
Table of contents
Work From Home
The COVID pandemic created an enormous shift toward working at home.
Every person with a job that could be done remotely made the pivot.
And now, as the world gets back to normal in most places, many of us have become attached to remote work.
Many churches are embracing this. Before the pandemic, most churches had a 9-5 in the office culture.
Today, most of your staff prefer the flexibility to work from home, at least part-time.
This creates challenges for churches. Productivity can be harder to measure, and building a healthy staff culture may not come as naturally.
But there are huge benefits to working remotely.
Your staff will likely appreciate the flexibility. Long term, many churches may be able to repurpose some office space for ministry or maybe even rental income for the church.
Working Through Online Attendance
In March 2020, almost every church took a hard look at their technology. People could not come to church in person, so online options became vital.
And while most churches have reopened their doors, the reality is that physical attendance has been down dramatically across the board since that time.
According to The Unstuck Group, in-person attendance is only 36-60% of what it was pre-COVID
The fact is that we need to have a reckoning with Online Church Attendance.
For many churches, it was a necessary evil. Something we were willing to tolerate because there was no better alternative.
But the generations to come will see less of a distinction between the online world and the physical world.
While we still believe that being physically present is imperative for Christians, the value of online attendance needs to be reckoned with.
Attention to Mental Health
Have you noticed that you hear more about mental health now than ever before?
There is a growing understanding that mental health plays an enormous part in human flourishing.
And this presents an enormous opportunity for churches.
It starts with encouraging people to take mental well-being seriously.
Churches with the right-sized budgets can even offer mental heal resources for members and people within the community.
But be careful. Do not assume that just because someone is a mature Christian, they are qualified to help people with their mental health challenges.
Consider partnering with mental health professionals in your community. Build a working relationship with them, and you can bring real healing to people in need.
Less Is More
Many churches discovered in the pandemic that the big production they were working toward each week did not have the intended results.
In response, many church leaders have made a conscious choice to do less production and, in some cases, offer fewer ministries.
Take a hard look at your church’s mission statement.
Are there things you are doing that are not moving your church closer to that stated mission?
Don’t be afraid to cut programs that are not helping you reach your church’s goals.
Many churches are truly finding that they can accomplish more by doing less.
Change of Metrics
For decades the primary metrics that church leaders tracked were tied to attendance, finances, and decisions.
And while those numbers are just as valuable today as they were in the past, there are new trends in metrics that you need to know about.
The key is engagement. Attendance and giving can be used to measure engagement, but there are many other numbers you can look at.
Here are some of the more popular ones that your church should consider.
- Number of people in Small Groups
- Number of people involved in service
- Hours watched on Youtube
- Number of shares on Facebook
- Traffic on your blog posts
- Number of opens on your church emails
The list could go on and on.
The point is that these measurements all look at the number of people engaging with your ministry.
While we should never get our worth from our numbers, these new metrics can help your church measure the real impact you are making in your community.